Wednesday Morning Open Thread: A New (Bladeplay) Hope

“Database connection error” strikes again… sorry this is late!

Per the Washington Post, “Lightsaber dueling officially becomes recognized by French fencing federation”:

… “With young people today, it’s a real public health issue,” Serge Aubailly, the federation’s secretary general, told the Associated Press. “It’s becoming difficult to [persuade them to] do a sport that has no connection with getting out of the sofa and playing with one’s thumbs. That is why we are trying to create a bond between our discipline and modern technologies, so participating in a sport feels natural.”

Instead of containing plasma, the lightsabers being used for duels here on Earth are made from rigid polycarbonate — not to be confused with carbonite, eh, Han Solo? — with LED lighting and, in some cases, proper sound effects built in.

To ensure action that resembles what fans have thrilled to in the movies, as well as to distinguish the dueling from its more traditional cousins, rules require participants to point the tips of their lightsabers behind them before attempting to land blows. While doing so, they are temporarily immune from attack, leading to clashes marked by sweeping movements.

The duels use a scoring system in which strikes to the head are worth five points; to the arms or legs, three points; or to the hands, one point. Winners are determined by the first to notch 15 points, or whoever is ahead after a three-minute round. Alternatively, if both competitors reach 10 points, the duel goes to sudden death, with the first to land a blow to the head or body becoming the winner.

Fighters wear masks and body armor, with the lighting appropriately low, all the better to make the glowing lightsabers pop.

“We wanted it to be safe, we wanted it to be umpired and, most of all, we wanted it to produce something visual that looks like the movies, because that is what people expect,” a French tournament organizer told the AP…

I’m sure there are a lot of Star Wars fanbois currently torn between booking the next flight to France and screaming MAH CHILDHOOD IT HAZ BEEN STOLEN!!! (because, and I say this as a first-gen Trekkie, this is how we roll). Kinda looking forward to fencer Charlie Pierce’s take…






173 replies
  1. 1
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    One more reason the extinction of the human race can not come soon enough.

    ETA just for rikyrah: Blech

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning , Everyone 😄😄😄

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    A blech just for me?👏👏😊😏

  4. 4
    JPL says:

    I hope it’s a good morning. Last week the new roof was installed and today it has already sprung a leak. Hopefully they can get someone here quickly.

  5. 5
    Amir Khalid says:

    @JPL:
    They will fix the leak for free, right?

  6. 6
    JPL says:

    @Amir Khalid: Oh yes they will, but since it’s guaranteed does that mean they will go to paying customers first? It’s the flashing around the fireplace chimney.

  7. 7
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: Let me guess: In a valley?

    Out of curiosity, what did you have them put up?

  8. 8
    rikyrah says:

    Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) Tweeted:
    Behind closed doors, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell did not object when they learned almost two years ago that the FBI was investigating whether Trump was compromised.

    How do you square that with their public silence and tacit approval of Trump’s attacks on the FBI and DOJ?

    https://t.co/Q8PMtNhuKj https://twitter.com/renato_mariotti/status/1097848346251808768?s=17

  9. 9
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: My 2nd guess was going to be a skylight. Chimney was 3rd.

    they will go to paying customers first?

    A legitimate fear. If they give you any guff, just remind them they are responsible for all interior damage. That should goose them up.

  10. 10
    WereBear says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Blech. @rikyrah: Good morning.

    I am feeling a little better, since I spent almost the whole holiday weekend proofreading my book for the print version. Good news is I found several typos. Bad news is: this thing has already been gone over so many times. And yet three people missed to0.

    Is there no end?!?!

  11. 11
    rikyrah says:

    Which was a Hillary mistake

    Paul Waldman (@paulwaldman1) Tweeted:
    In 2016, Hillary Clinton barely criticized Bernie Sanders and never dropped any oppo on him for fear of alienating his supporters.

    I predict that his 2020 opponents will not be so restrained.

    https://twitter.com/paulwaldman1/status/1097866477905035264?s=17

  12. 12
    rikyrah says:

    Wish one of the FrontPagers would tackle this

    Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) Tweeted:
    Ex-Sessions spokesperson @whignewtons is joining CNN as political editor, helping coordinate 2020 coverage: https://t.co/0L0VManlkQ w/ @elianayjohnson https://twitter.com/mlcalderone/status/1097894582849814528?s=17

  13. 13
    Amir Khalid says:

    @WereBear:
    In the first few printings of Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, a character is described as “the last living ancestor of Salazar Slytherin”. It was eventually noticed and “ancestor” was corrected to “descendent”, but you can bet that an author, an editor, and a team of copy editors all missed it each time. We humans are fallible.

  14. 14
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @WereBear: Proof reading sucks. I could never catch my own mistakes.

  15. 15
    JPL says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The shingles are owens corning and they used metal flashing with caulk around the chimney. I went with the older established company that had a good reputation so did my research. It was surprising to me how many roofing companies come and go.

  16. 16
    JPL says:

    @rikyrah: I guess there is a lot of opposition among the employees.

  17. 17
    HinTN says:

    @JPL:

    It’s always the flashing around the fireplace chimney.

    FTFY

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  19. 19
    Chyron HR says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I’d wait for Pottermore to weigh in before you declare that an “error”.

  20. 20
    HinTN says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Nope, I know what I wrote (and it’s perfect).

    😎

  21. 21
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: We need to get a new one on our place. We would like to get standing seam steel but I fear the cost would be too much. We’ll probably end up with one of the cheaper metal roofs or asphalt shingles too.

    It was surprising to me how many roofing companies come and go.

    Oh yeah, the originators of the “fly by night” company. So many people get taken after a disaster, they are desperate, they need it done last week. Good move on your part. Old and established care about their reputation. They’ll probably come quick.

  22. 22
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HinTN: Heh. that’s exactly the problem, even my mistakes are perfect.

  23. 23
    rikyrah says:

    😒😒😒

    Tommy MMXIXtopher (@tommyxtopher) Tweeted:
    Holy shit. @ChrisCuomo: “[Trump] and others have lied about Russia-related matters, and I don’t know why.”

    Kellyanne Conway: “Not me. I have no exposure.”
    https://t.co/zZoQOElphh https://twitter.com/tommyxtopher/status/1098048375931457537?s=17

  24. 24
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @rikyrah: Good Morning!

  25. 25
    rikyrah says:

    Ragnarok Lobster (@eclecticbrotha) Tweeted:
    @Patrickesque Bernie faked endorsements during the New Hampshire primary.
    Sanders supporters impersonated restaurant union members in Vegas.
    Staffers stole Clinton’s data.
    He accused Hillary of being unqualified.
    He blamed his supporters violence in NV on the state Democratic Party.

    Honest.🤔

    https://twitter.com/eclecticbrotha/status/1098114749458460672?s=17

  26. 26
    WereBear says:

    @Amir Khalid: What a funny story, thank you!

    As a journalist, I’m sure you ran into similar issues.

    What happens is the brain “helpfully” fixes these errors as one reads, and the more someone goes over the text, the more it fixes things.

    I’ve found what helps most is getting away from it to give my brain a chance to reset, and also reading the material in a different format and software. I uploaded the manuscript to Kindle and then can download a PDF proof in two page format.

    This is sufficiently different from all that has gone before, and it’s easy to make notes on the PDF for correcting the manuscript.

  27. 27
    debbie says:

    @WereBear:

    Years of proofreading taught me there will never be an end to typos.

  28. 28
    debbie says:

    Did geg6 ever report back about her John?

  29. 29
    debbie says:

    @rikyrah:

    I wish the MAGA kid’s $250,000,000 lawsuit against the Post would be front-paged. If it isn’t immediately tossed for being frivolous, free speech will be in a lot of trouble.

  30. 30
    Kay says:

    Philippe Reines
    ‏Verified account
    @PhilippeReines
    Follow Follow @PhilippeReines
    More
    Roger Stone was arrested as part of Robert Mueller’s investigation.
    The New York Times covers Roger Stone.
    Stone sent a flattering email to an author about her (Hillary) book.
    Author is a @nytimes reporter.
    Author/Reporter posts Stone’s email to promote book.
    How is this ok?

    The author/reporter is Amy Chozick who was part of the NYTimes horrible and low quality reporting on Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
    I mean, come on. Put in some ethics and conflict rules. This laissez-faire approach really isn’t working.

  31. 31
    Nelle says:

    @WereBear: I taught composition. On due dates, I often had students line the walls of the classroom, turn to the walls, and slowly read aloud their essays. It was noisy but they always caught errors and fixed them on the spot. The voice slowed the brain and it bounced back at them off the wall.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    How is this ok?

    Because the NYT is garbage.

  34. 34
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”

    “Oh, and always shoot them first, under the table.”

  35. 35
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    Oh, it gets worse! Here’s the NYT a couple of days ago with their big story on Trump’s numerous attempts to obstruct justice and manage investigations into his own administration:

    Nick Merrill
    ‏@NickMerrill
    16h16 hours ago
    More
    For those old enough to remember almost 4 years ago when The New York Times ran with a farce of a story about Uranium One, here is the same New York Times admitting the story was a sham today…leaving out that they created it.

    They write that the Uranium One bullshit was “debunked”. They leave out that they wrote and published the Uranium One bullshit, which they got from Bannon. The debunked Uranium One story is still up, uncorrected. If you Google Clinton Foundation, Uranium One you’ll find it.

    The books seem to me to be the connection. They’re running a kind of side business in political books and the stories come from the books or the authors of the books also write the stories. It’s akin to the Iraq coverage, where Cheney would plant a lie, the NYTimes would recite the lie, and then Cheney would go on tv and say “the NYTimes is reporting…” It’s a circle.

  36. 36
    Van Buren says:

    @HinTN: Except when it’s the skylights.

  37. 37
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    I read yesterday in the ‘opinion pages’ of the Grey Lady that we should just give up trying to investigate Trump’s endless cavalcade of crimes because it just consumes too much time.

    The reporters would like to quit wasting their valuable time and resources on reporting on what is obvious to anyone, the most corrupt politician ever to hold the highest office in the land. Instead, they would like to get back to the hard work of commenting on Congresswomen’s fashions, and in-depth analysis of who is most ‘likable’ in the bloated Democratic field.

    “A Fourth Estate of Able Editors, springs up…!”

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    @Kay: The question is, why is the NYT’s political desk still seen as credible by any Democrat? (The rest of the paper seems ok.)

    I really hope we’ve learned our lesson from 2016. That doesn’t mean we’ll necessarily win, but at least I’d like us to have fewer own goals.

  39. 39
    Kay says:

    I wonder how the sitting Dem Senators are going to take Bernie Sanders calling them all corrupt at the debates. I look forward to the cowardly Sanders calling Elizabeth Warren corrupt. I’d pay to see that.

    Ugh. Trump’s oily flattery of Sanders yesterday. It’s just gross how Sanders is the MAGA crowd’s favorite liberal, and how Sanders apparently sees this as some kind of indication he’s universally popular. “Both sides like me!”

    It’s the “enemy of your enemy is your friend” formulation which I think is bullshit but you know the Maga-ites adhere to that dumb slogan.

  40. 40
    Baud says:

    Anyone with an economics background have thoughts on this? The guy is a Cato Institute person who is seemingly endorsing AOC’s purported plan to pay for the Green New Deal through the Fed. My non-economics nose smells bullshit but what do I know?

  41. 41
    Baud says:

    @Kay: They’ll all take it. People say Hillary was too nice, but the Dems slip easily into destructive internecine warfare and responsible party leaders understand that limits what they can do.

  42. 42
    Baud says:

    A small brown rat which lived on a tiny island off northern Australia is the world’s first mammal known to have become extinct due to “human-induced climate change,” the government says.

  43. 43
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    I’m not sure it’s seen as “credible”. It’s seen as “powerful” which is true and a different problem. That Tweet about Uranium One goes on to say that once the NYTimes published it, it became “true” to other political reporters and they all followed.

    They’re powerful. “Credible” isn’t part of the analysis. That particular person knew the Uranium One scandal was invented, but what he could he do? He was working for Clinton. He can “debunk” all he wants- they’re all going to continue to cover it.

  44. 44
    Baud says:

    @Kay: Well, in 2016, I suppose we could say we were caught flat-footed at the scope of the efforts against us. We can’t say that for 2020. We just have to overcome it all somehow.

  45. 45
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    It doesn’t have to be either or. One can be nice and fight back at the same time. That’s what Obama did.

  46. 46
    rikyrah says:

    Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) Tweeted:
    Interesting. Russia views Kamala Harris as the greatest threat to Trump.

    https://t.co/Kf2AORUQ7n https://twitter.com/TopherSpiro/status/1098200201578328065?s=17

  47. 47
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay:

    “enemy of your enemy is your friend”

    Is never really true but, “the friend of my enemy is my enemy” is always true.

  48. 48
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    Keep on nailing them, Kay.😠

  49. 49
    Baud says:

    @debbie: Obama hasn’t said anything about Sanders. Obama has always been respectful to dissenting voices, especially when they come from inside the tent. A lot of that was his personality, but I’m sure he understood that inter-party warfare was not going to be productive.

  50. 50
    Karen S. says:

    I haven’t devoted much attention to the 2020 presidential stuff. I’ve been much more interested in who I’m going to vote for in the Chicago elections. There are 14 candidates for mayor and nine candidates running to be the next alderman of the ward I live in. It’s actually been fun having so many choices.

  51. 51
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    You are right, but folks are pushing back. Look at the story about the Sessions flunky hired at CNN. Folks bringing all kinds of receipts on her. It will color everything they do and the pushback is there, where it wasn’t in 2016, cause we were still giving them the benefit of the doubt. No more.

  52. 52
    Baud says:

    @Karen S.:

    There are 14 candidates for mayor and nine candidates running to be the next alderman of the ward I live in. It’s actually been fun having so many choices.

    You’re going to love the presidential primary.

  53. 53
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @rikyrah: If CNN is smart, they’ll figure out a way to drop her within a couple of days. She’s inexperienced, not a journalist and clearly a political hack. Why CNN hired her in the first place is odd. They must have known that there would be pushback.

  54. 54
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @rikyrah:

    Wish one of the FrontPagers would tackle this

    Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) Tweeted:
    Ex-Sessions spokesperson @whignewtons is joining CNN as political editor, helping coordinate 2020 coverage:

    1. Michael Calderone is a double-stack moron and will say something stupid and racist on national TeeVee within a matter of microseconds of being on camera.

    2. Undoubtably, that is exactly why CNN hired him.

    3. CNN has been turning into ‘FOX light’ for a long while now, trying to siphon off their viewers. We’re about two seconds away from The Confederacy Report with Megan Kelly, and tedious speculation from Don Lemon, wondering if it was a black hole that disappeared his civil liberties.

  55. 55
    But her emails!!! says:

    @Baud:
    Most of them will take it, but in a field of 20+ someone is going to try the thrash Sanders mercilessly route to see if it can get them promoted from the children’s table.

  56. 56

    @Patricia Kayden: Why hire her was my first question too. It’s like they all draw from this same limited pool of people, cycling them around and then recycling them.

  57. 57
    Kay says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Is never

    Never. A truism that isn’t even a little bit true, but we’re stuck with it forever. The Democratic Party also loves “better inside the tent that outside, pissing in” which also almost always fails. I don’t know why they make it so complicated. They’re opponents. Keep it simple. You don’t have to hate them but see what they are, and act accordingly. Is the fact that the Democratic Party brought them into the rule-making process going to make a bit of difference in the cries of “rigged!” if Sanders loses? No.

  58. 58
    Baud says:

    @But her emails!!!: If someone like John Delaney does it, he might earn the vote of people like me, bringing him up to a whopping .25% in the polls.

  59. 59
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Why CNN hired her in the first place is odd.

    because

    She’s inexperienced, not a journalist and clearly a political hack.

  60. 60
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: Yeah but pretty sure he’d get a surge of jackal donors to his campaign.

  61. 61
    Karen S. says:

    @Baud:
    I’m sure I will. Are you running in 2020?

  62. 62
    HinTN says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Sorry to be late to this but spend the money on the standing seam roof. You will not be sorry. Twenty years later mine has some sun bleaching and that’s about it.

  63. 63
    rikyrah says:

    Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers) Tweeted:
    I don’t have a problem with Bernie getting in the race, “when is he getting out” is probably a better question.

    https://twitter.com/Bakari_Sellers/status/1098062457803661312?s=17

  64. 64
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    No one “has a problem” with Bernie getting in the race. They turn criticism of Bernie Sanders into an attack on “democracy”, because they’re dishonest and they don’t fight fair.

    That’s the part of Sanders that I see and it makes me feel very distant from his supporters, because they don’t see it. When I was watching the debates with Clinton I thought he was sneaky and cowardly. I cannot fucking STAND people who attack character and won’t admit they’re personally attacking someone. Go crazy. Attack her character all you want. But OWN it. This wide-eyed “i;m a nice guy” bit from Sanders is fucking insufferable.

  65. 65
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HinTN: I know, that’s why I want one, but if I don’t have the money I don’t have the money. The good thing for us is that the roof on the original house is a 9/12, while the addition is a 12/12. This house was built in 1976 (iirc) and it still has the original roof. The benefits of a steep pitch. Pretty much whatever we put on it will be the last roof we ever need.

  66. 66
    Plato says:

    fywp: fybj, you’re making me look bad.

  67. 67
    Michael Cain says:

    I’m a sport fencer and armorer. The Junior Olympics fencing event was here in Denver for four days this past weekend. Staggering number of young people fencing.

  68. 68
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    In reference to post #54: I’m meant to write that ‘Whig Newtons is a double-stack moron’.

    I humbly apologize to Mr. Calderone, who does some very fine work.

    Yet another lesson learned about ‘cutting and pasting’ in anger.

  69. 69
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    Clinton was making a very straightforward argument about money in politics. Agree or disagree, what she was saying was donations do not determine what she supports, in policy. She had examples! Bernie comes back with you’re a corrupt person because I say so and then insists he’s not attacking her character. He is! His supporters didn’t come up with “she’s a criminal” out of thin air. He told them she was!

  70. 70
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: I was kinda wondering about that. ;-)

  71. 71
    Baud says:

    @Karen S.: I’m having second thoughts about it. Waiting to hear back from my exploratory committee.

  72. 72
    germy says:

    Owner of civil war reenactment business sues school district that canceled field trips after his far-right social media came to light

    https://boingboing.net/2019/02/19/james-riley.html

  73. 73
    germy says:

    @rikyrah:

    Interesting. Russia views Kamala Harris as the greatest threat to Trump.

    And not a word out of trump’s mouth about her, on twitter or elsewhere.

    I read somewhere his handlers told him not to say her name. They’re terrified of her.

  74. 74
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    You tell the truth. Completely dishonest broker. Muthaphucka 😡 😡 STILL hasn’t released his tax returns.

  75. 75
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Kay: the person who was actually corrupt was Sanders who cut a deal to support pro-NRA legislation in return for their political support.

  76. 76
    rikyrah says:

    😒😒😒

    Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) Tweeted:
    McCabe describes Pence reading the FBI briefing materials on Flynn’s lies: “Immediately his face changed. His expression turned very cold. It hardened … His head shook, but barely — tiny shakes of no … He said a few things along the lines of I can’t believe this.” P. 203

    https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1097980453162704897?s=17

  77. 77
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    In reference to posts #54 & #68: Please forgive.

    1. I am confusing Ms. Sarah Isgur’s twitter handle with Senator Sessions’ former campaign manager.

    2. To the best of my knowledge, Ms. Isgur is not a racist. She DID however say a lot of stupid shit when she was DOJ spokesperson under Sessions. And before that, on Fiorina’s campaign.

    3. Michael Calderone is still a very fine reporter.

    4. CNN still sucks and is getting more racist by the day.

    Now I quit and drink coffee.

  78. 78
    MomSense says:

    @rikyrah:

    Pence is a very good liar. He was head of the transition. I don’t believe he didn’t know.

  79. 79
    rikyrah says:

    https://twitter.com/guardian/status/1098205707483209733

    Why deal with Bernie Sanders when you can have Elizabeth Warren?

  80. 80
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah:

    I made the same comment in a thread yesterday.

  81. 81
    rikyrah says:

    @MomSense:

    @rikyrah:

    Pence is a very good liar. He was head of the transition. I don’t believe he didn’t know.

    Neither.do.I.

    Neither.do.I.

  82. 82
    rikyrah says:

    @Baud:

    and, you were on the money.

  83. 83
    BR says:

    For the first time in a long time, I decided to donate — gave Warren a few bucks. She still seems like the most real and most willing to tackle the toughest challenges, and given that I’m in CA I know Harris well and I’ve spent time learning about the others. But I’m fine with most of who we have running across the board and would vote for basically any of them.

  84. 84
    Leto says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: Here’s something to lighten your spirits. The French organization didn’t get the scoring correct. Here’s the correct scoring:

    The duels use a scoring system in which strikes to the head are worth five points a Dooku;to the arms or legs, three points an Obi-wan; or to the hands, one point a Luke. Winners are determined by the first to notch 15 points an Anakin, or whoever is ahead after a three-minute round exclaims, “‘Tis but a scratch!”. Alternatively, if both competitors reach 10 points a double Dooku (alternatively known as a “Total Anakin”), the duel goes to sudden death, with the first to land a blow to the head or body becoming the winner.

    The fencing federation really missed the mark with that.

  85. 85
    Kay says:

    A wide-ranging disinformation campaign aimed at Democratic 2020 candidates is already under way on social media, with signs that foreign state actors are driving at least some of the activity.

    It continues to be interesting, doesn’t it, that none of this is ever directed at Donald Trump. “Random”, “agnostic” as to ideology and political party, yet somehow always misses Donald Trump and always hits Donald Trump’s opponents.

    Like the Wikileaks transparency objective. Transparent on one side with stolen information, yet completely opaque on the other. I mean, it should have been easy for Wikileaks to steal Trump campaign correspondence, since Wikileaks were communicating directly with Trump campaign operatives. Oddly, the Trump stuff remains under wraps.

  86. 86
    Leto says:

    @germy: Kama-Juice! Kama-Juice! Kama-Juice!

  87. 87
    Chyron HR says:

    @rikyrah:

    I don’t have a problem with Bernie getting in the race, “when is he getting out” is probably a better question.

    It’s not over until the electoral college votes!

  88. 88
    germy says:

    @Leto: He’s working on nicknames for all of the Democratic candidates.

  89. 89
    rikyrah says:

    👏👏👏👏
    The New Deal was quite frankly Affirmative Action for whites, it sanctioned redlining, housing discrimination & excluded domestic & agricultural workers from SS–a large percentage of AA workforce. We needed Great Society programs to reverse inequality from the New Deal. https://t.co/WreaXI0ard

    — ReclaimingMyTime (@MonieTalks_1) February 20, 2019

  90. 90
    Patricia Kayden says:

    So Trump is once again raging that the NYT is the enemy of the people.
    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1098218016255414272
    He’s egging on his supporters to assault journalists like the Saudis do. Not normal.

  91. 91
    plato says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Wondering how does magat maggie feel now?

  92. 92
    Kay says:

    My youngest and I are having huge fights over Ohio’s College Credit Plus program. High school students can take free college courses at the local community college for credit, and he wants to take 3 as a junior. He can pass these courses but I’m not at all convinced the community college instructors are vastly superior to his high school teachers, who also teach “advanced” or AP or “honors” courses and who he has a years-long relationship with and likes. I would prefer if he were actually IN high school because I think schools are complex communities and they get more out of it than “3 credits” – especially this boy who is a wholly social animal – I think his main driver for going to school is to socialize. To grow up. I also think they’re scaring them into this, by telling them they need an “edge” or a leg up on other students because…21st century Ted Talk slogans bullshit. I think he wants to go to the community college because he thinks he will meet new people, which, you know, he could also do with a hobby.
    I am sort of a traditionalist which I admit but what is the rush? This is a trade off. He’s missing one thing in order to do another. Can we at least admit that, that this isn’t all upside? If he takes two years of college english in high school then he must miss two years of high school english? Because he can’t do both. He could if he took college english in college, but not with this plan.
    I’m overruling him with the guidance counselor – “he may NOT register for more than one” and he’s pissed.

  93. 93

    @rikyrah: I am seeing arguments all over Twitter about how Kamala Harris is not black enough. And the people making that argument are usually white BS bros. And BS bros are already attacking Warren.

  94. 94
    germy says:

    During a CNN interview, Haberman slammed the president for spreading blatant misinformation about the work of her paper and of other media outlets.

    “That’s not true, that’s a lie,” Haberman said. “I don’t know if he knows it’s a lie or whether he is telling himself this is true, whether his staff doesn’t tell him we are reaching out. I find it hard to believe that his staff didn’t reach him that this kind of a report was coming.”

    Haberman also explained that she and her colleagues started reaching out to the White House on Friday to get their input into their big report on Trump and Whitaker, which dropped on Tuesday afternoon.

    “I sent several e-mails that went unanswered until yesterday,” Haberman said. “They chose not to engage and afterwards, the president acts surprised.”

    so much for access.

  95. 95
    Kay says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I’m paranoid but to me the Harris “controversy” seems blatantly engineered. I think it’s rational for us to watch for that. It doesn’t mean no one can criticize them, but if it springs up out of nowhere and the candidate has Democratic voter support but it’s just really loud on social media then we can be wary.

    A real campaign reporter said no one at Warren events is asking about the Pocohantis bullshit they all pushed. That should be our measure. What do real live people who go to events care about.

    The midterms were about healthcare. Painfully boring discussions of preexisting conditions that we already litigated in 2009. Not caravans.

  96. 96
    Another Scott says:

    @rikyrah: Wonkette has a picture of her. She cleans up nice, and professional makeup can make almost anyone pretty.

    Eye candy that has a history of saying provocative things – what’s not to like for CNN??!

    Grrr…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  97. 97
    Leto says:

    @germy: I was just playing off of the invocation of Beetlejuice, but I have no doubt that whatever he comes up with will be both dumb and racist.

  98. 98
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Pence is DIRTY!!!

    So we already know Manafort is dirty. Duh! Manafort pushed Pence to the front of the VP line. On the trail, he lied to Trump about aircraft problems in Indiana so Trump would have to hang with Pence an extra day. Manafort hard sold Trump on Pence.

    What’s the connection between Manafort and Pence? The Koch brothers.

    Upon election, Pence immediately pushes Christie aside and takes over the transition team. He is one of Flynn’s most vocal supporters and applaudes his appointment as NSA.

    Pence has lied about Russia, Wikileaks, the Trump Tower meeting, etc. in every single fucking interview he has given. But he is the plausible deniability king, somehow never being around, or in the loop at key moments of mass criminality.

    So maybe, just maybe… poor ol’ Mike Pence is just incredibly stupid? Like Peter Sellers in Being There? Right place at the right time? Or is it, not in the wrong place at the time the bad thing was happening? My ass!

    Pence is a Koch stooge. Like Ross, DeVos, and all the rest.

    And this fucking case keeps coming up oil and billionaires.

    And where in the world is Rex Tillerson?

  99. 99
    germy says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:

    Pence is a Koch stooge. Like Ross, DeVos, and all the rest.

    Surely the Kochs are experiencing buyer’s remorse, with all the anti-immigration fury the administration has whipped up…

  100. 100
  101. 101

    @@Kay: School is better, college level classes in high school don’t offer much in my opinion.
    Kay: I agree with you it does seem engineered, it also makes no sense.

  102. 102

    @Patricia Kayden: So the monster wants to kill Frankenstein? Whocoodanode?

  103. 103
    tobie says:

    @rikyrah: I wish people remembered how many changes Medicare, Social Security and the like underwent from the time they were introduced till now. Somehow the ACA was expected to be perfect on Day 1. Democrats really have a way of shooting themselves in the foot. The ACA was a BFD and yet the party lost the midterms in 2010 because of it.

  104. 104
    Another Scott says:

    @germy: Unsurprising. Donnie’s a Mercer guy, not a Koch guy.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  105. 105
    germy says:

    @Another Scott: That might be a problem for him in 2020.

    The Mercers are laying low. I think they’re hiding under the furniture.

  106. 106
    Another Scott says:

    @tobie: Nit – Democrats lost in 2010 because the economy was still crap, because too many senators were too afraid of “One Trillion Dollars!!11” and didn’t do enough to get the economy back on its feet. (IOW, the recovery bills were too small.) Active opposition by the Teabaggers didn’t help, of course.

    The ACA got the headlines because it was easy to demagogue. If the economy were recovering the way it should have been, it wouldn’t have mattered.

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  107. 107
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    I was thinking last night that this was an area where Hillary and her team realized that they had made a mistake in 2008 by going too hard after Obama with attacks that were later used against him in the general election, and so they course-corrected for 2016.

    Unfortunately for all of us, in 2016 she wasn’t dealing with a primary opponent who was as gracious and savvy as Obama, so not going for his throat during the primary while he felt no such inhibitions actually hurt her.

    And I find it interesting that, in 2016, both of Hillary’s opponents got at least 3 million fewer votes than she did, and both of them insist to this day that she only got those votes because of fraud. Interesting how the Bros’ complaints about “cheating” meant that Trump and the Republicans were able to get away with massive cheating in the general election because the electorate was already primed to assume that any “cheating” was the Democrats’ fault. You know, like how Hillary conspired with the Republican Secretary of State in Arizona to screw up the primary voting there. 🙄

  108. 108
    Chyron HR says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I am seeing arguments all over Twitter about how Kamala Harris is not black enough. And the people making that argument are usually white BS bros.

    Yeah, but did you know that Bernie was basically MLK’s sidekick? Or possibly the other way around.

  109. 109
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @germy:

    Surely the Kochs are experiencing buyer’s remorse…

    The Kochs, the Mercers, Putin, a shit-load of Russian mobsters and oil businessmen, the GOP, the MAGA, the American people, the world…

  110. 110
    Barbara says:

    @schrodingers_cat: What the fuck does “not black enough” mean? Not black enough for black people? Because I am pretty sure that will get sorted through voting.

  111. 111
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I am seeing arguments all over Twitter about how Kamala Harris is not black enough. And the people making that argument are usually white BS bros.

    These fools would never have pulled this shit with Obama.

    Also some of this may come from right wingers trying to stir up trouble.

  112. 112

    @Brachiator:

    These fools would never have pulled this shit with Obama.

    Ah, they said the same thing about Obama.

  113. 113
    Kay says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I like that they know him at school. They knew his siblings, they “know” his parents, in that they know who we are and, honestly, they watch him. This is what he objects to, the idea that he needs to be watched but he does need that. I know he’ll go and turn in the work, but that isn’t the whole goal here. I don’t think it’s objectionable that he does high school level work in high school. That’s where one would do that. If that’s completely without value then why not send them all off to career training in 8th grade? We’ll all save a lot of money and time. It’s very efficient.

  114. 114
    germy says:

    The family of the covington smirking teen is suing WaPo for $250 million.

  115. 115
    Yarrow says:

    @plato: Maggie H. is in on the grift so she’s fine with it.

  116. 116
    Bruuuuce says:

    I may have to mute a bunch of folks over at Le Livre Des Visages soon. BS supporters crowing about how he’s already scammed — I mean, “raised” — $6 million, meaning he’s “the people’s candidate.”

    Add that to an anticipated horrid commute to work this evening, at the height of the snow/slush/wintry mix mess we’re expecting, and I feel sick.

  117. 117
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay: I think given the change in tax refunds that the early part of the primaries is going to be about taxes.

  118. 118
    Kdaug says:

    Personal favor?
    I’ll set the phaser on “stun”.

  119. 119
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Kamala Harris has degrees in Economics and Political science from Howard, and a law degree from UC Hastings a.k.a. ‘The Princeton of the West’. In California, she was a tough prosecutor and a skilled litigator. Ms. Harris has a good brain. Massive. And she will dice you and your dumbass argument up faster than a chef at Benihana.

    She’s photogenic (yes, that’s an issue for women candidates, unbelievably). She’s smart. Book and street. And she’s a fucking charmer too! Ms. Harris would undoubtably have world leaders eating out of her hand. Oh, and her policy ideas are pretty cool too.

    Would she make a good President? HELL, YEAH!!!

    So, of course she’s not black enough.

  120. 120
    Yarrow says:

    @germy: Remember when Robert Mercer suddenly stepped down as head of Renaissance Technologies in November, 2017? At the same time he sold his share of Breitbart to his daughters. Not an accident that it happened so suddenly. And the “personal reasons” he cited have a lot to do with treason.

  121. 121
    geg6 says:

    @Kay:

    It’s your kiddo, so I certainly don’t want to tell you you’re doing it wrong. You do you, for sure.

    But I disagree. We have a similar program of dual enrollment here in PA. Students aren’t limited to the local community college but can attend any local college or university that agrees to participate. At my campus, we give the dual enrollment students a 75% tuition discount and the countywide intermediate unit funds the rest for low income students and a local major bank funds the rest for lower middle/middle class students. They can start taking classes as juniors and accumulate as many as 12 credits before graduating high school. That’s an entire semester down at little to no cost, which saves these students and their families thousands of dollars. We also see these students adjusting to college pretty seamlessly, a process that is often make or break for many freshmen who don’t have this experience. And I can’t speak for the quality of education at your local community college, but our dual enrollment students are in actual college classes, working with and learning with actual college students. They aren’t limited to just English or college algebra classes, though many take those to get them out of the way. They take anything for which there are no prerequisites and often in subjects which aren’t available in their high schools. Psychology, foreign languages, philosophy, journalism, physics…all things I’ve known dual enrollment students to take. None of those kids are missing out on anything. On the contrary, their educations are enhanced, they are better prepared and they save money. I haven’t run across one yet that regrets the experience.

  122. 122
    Yarrow says:

    @geg6: How’s your John doing? Sorry if I missed an update yesterday.

  123. 123
    tobie says:

    @Another Scott: What you say makes sense but I’m skeptical about tying the rise of the Tea Party to economic distress alone. Yes, it was a big factor, but something else was going on in 2009 and 2010, and it seems to have a lot to do with small-town and rural white folk thinking their country was being stolen from them by the Obama coalition of brown and black people, young people, professionals, Hollywood, coastal elites etc etc etc. Sarah Palin and Donald Trump are the faces of white resentment.

  124. 124
    trollhattan says:

    @WereBear:
    When I absolutely positively need zero typos I force myself to read the piece backwards. Clumsy but forces the brain to evaluate words individually. Not sure it helps for punctuation (said as a sworn enemy of the Oxford comma. Fight me.)

  125. 125
    Chris says:

    @Kay:

    He’s too fucking stupid to realize that Trump only flatters him because he knows he’ll be by far the easiest to beat in the general. And too vain to admit to himself that the only reason Trump’s base voters like him is that he’s a white guy who regularly shits on women and POC. He really thinks he’s the second coming of FDR who’s all set to unify the nation with over 60% victories.

  126. 126

    Sanders’ consistent and passionate message from the moment he lost the Democratic primary has been that Donald Trump and the Republicans are an existential danger to us all that must be stopped, and if Democrats weren’t corrupt that would be easy.

  127. 127
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @tobie: I am not Scott, but I don’t read his comment as tying the rise of the Tea Party to economic distress. It seems to me that he mentioned it as another factor that came into play in 2020.

  128. 128
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @trollhattan: You’ve changed, man. You used be cool.

  129. 129
    trollhattan says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:
    So if I turn myself into a pretzel I can contend that the senator got into Howard under affirmative action outreach to not-black-enough students? I look forward to Tucker Carlson’s take on this important issue. Yeah, they’ll probably eventually get there should she become one of the two or three top Dems. There will be eyeroll injuries.

  130. 130
    trollhattan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    This aggression will not stand, man!

  131. 131
    tobie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @Another Scott: If I’m mistaken, I sincerely apologize to Another Scott. I thought “nit” meant “niet” but I could well be wrong. Internet slang is not a strong suit.

  132. 132
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’ve always been bitchy, though. But I will fight for the Oxford comma all day and all of the night.

  133. 133
    Another Scott says:

    @tobie: Racism was certainly a factor.

    But if people aren’t losing their homes, and their jobs, and their savings, then they aren’t as susceptible to demagogues.

    Krugman on the legacy of the too-small stimulus.

    Dean Baker on how the stimulus was far too small.

    CBS News:

    Nowhere is this dissatisfaction more strongly felt than with Mr. Obama’s handling of the economy, the issue viewed as the most important facing the country by 62 percent of the midterm electorate.

    In the 2008 election, there was considerable optimism among voters concerned about the economy that Mr. Obama would be able to right the ship. Exit polls that year showed that among the 48 percent of voters who thought the economy was poor, 65 percent preferred Mr. Obama to McCain for president. Similarly, of the 55 percent of voters who were worried that the current economic crisis would harm their family’s finances in the next year, 65 percent voted for Mr. Obama.

    By 2010, voters had become disillusioned with Mr. Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress with many thinking they are part of the problem rather than the solution. Nearly a quarter of voters (23 percent) now believe that Mr. Obama is more to blame for the current economic problems than former President George W. Bush or Wall Street bankers. Nearly two-thirds of voters (65 percent) believe the economic stimulus package has hurt the economy or made no difference.

    Obama inherited a huge problem, and it was unreasonable to expect that he could fix it in less than 2 years. But Congress being unwilling to do what needed to be done is the main reason for the blowout in 2010.

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  134. 134
    Fair Economist says:

    @Kay:

    Ugh. Trump’s oily flattery of Sanders yesterday. It’s just gross how Sanders is the MAGA crowd’s favorite liberal, and how Sanders apparently sees this as some kind of indication he’s universally popular. “Both sides like me!”

    Remember Trump wasn’t the only 2016 Presidential candidate with a campaign manager who works for Russia.

  135. 135

    @Barbara: Paraphrasing, she was born to privilege and was not a descendant of slaves or something to that effect.

  136. 136
    Fair Economist says:

    @Another Scott: The idea that the stimulus didn’t help was ably spread by the media in the face of the facts. The economic decline started improving literally the month the stimulus started (April 09). It was a big help and saved things from being much worse.

    It *was* too small as well – which was primarily Susan Collins’ fault, not Obama’s . But the media won’t discuss either of those facts either.

  137. 137
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @plato: Maggie appears to have a self-serving interesting in covering the White House so she probably doesn’t care. Trump has personally attacked her, after all, and yet she keeps covering him in a sympathetic manner. It’s all about access instead of journalism with her.

  138. 138
    Yarrow says:

    @Patricia Kayden: And it could be more since her mom has long worked for the PR firm used by both Trump and the Kushners.

  139. 139
    hueyplong says:

    Mueller could drop a footnote and end Sanders’ campaign. I’m hoping he’ll do more.

  140. 140
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @tobie: “Nitpick” predates the internet, probably by centuries.

    A nit is a louse egg. A tiny tiny thing. Picking at nits means complaining about tiny little things.

  141. 141
    satby says:

    @Yarrow: @geg6: yes, I saw the other thread too late but have been wondering how John is?

  142. 142
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    Go Kay.
    You are a good parent.

  143. 143
    rikyrah says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    We are not backing down, and we are not allowing that bullshyt to slide.

  144. 144
    Fair Economist says:

    @Baud:

    Anyone with an economics background have thoughts on this? The guy is a Cato Institute person who is seemingly endorsing AOC’s purported plan to pay for the Green New Deal through the Fed.

    Just an admission of reality, only shocking because it’s coming from a Cato guy.
    He’s not endorsing the GND. He’s just saying that the past 10 years of Federal Reserve actions have shown that it can indeed fund some substantial policies, like the GND or a number of others.

    I assume the goal is to give the rest of the reality-based right wing community (both of them!) a heads-up that the old “the government can’t pay for it” line is currently bogus. Although I don’t see why he’d bother because right-wingers lie anyway.

  145. 145
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I’m paranoid but to me the Harris “controversy” seems blatantly engineered. I think it’s rational for us to watch for that. It doesn’t mean no one can criticize them, but if it springs up out of nowhere and the candidate has Democratic voter support but it’s just really loud on social media then we can be wary.

    Kay,

    folks are absolutely on it.
    we note that the first attack on Harris was ‘Kamala is a cop’..
    and, we beat back that bullshyt.

    Now, it’s that she’s not REALLY Black.
    Folks are not having it.

    You’re only paranoid if they’re NOT out to get you..and, they are out here, in these social media streets attacking Harris.

  146. 146
    Fair Economist says:

    @rikyrah: I’m encouraged by how incredibly weak this attack on Harris is. African-Americans aren’t going to be fooled by this and how many whites will refuse to vote for somebody who isn’t “black enough”?

  147. 147
    geg6 says:

    @Yarrow:

    Very well, thanks! He has some very minor aphasia but has been discharged as of last evening. Almost no restrictions because all his numbers (cholesterols, BP, sugar, etc.) are pretty much perfect. Just an aspirin every day and Plavix for the next month. Also some outpatient speech therapy for a few weeks. They expect complete recovery and, with good health management, no recurrence. It was a small ischemic stroke localized in a very small section of where language is in the brain. They showed it to me and it is barely the size of a pea. We’re very grateful for this and he is a lucky guy. My thanks to all the Jackals sending good thoughts our way.

  148. 148
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @germy:

    During a CNN interview, Haberman slammed the president

    This “slam” is as real as the WWE. Trump and Mags need each other, they both know it, and they’re both trying to pull the wool over everybody else’s eyes. Unfortunately, to a fair amount of success.

  149. 149
    J R in WV says:

    @WereBear:

    Good news is I found several typos. Bad news is: this thing has already been gone over so many times. And yet three people missed to0.

    Is there no end?!?!

    No end whatsoever… back when I did grant applications to EPA I had multiple staff read for errors in technology, grammar, spelling, etc, etc. Including other analysts and my boss. There was always another typo to be found AFTER the document was sent to the granting office. Always.

    But best of luck trying to smoke all of them out!!

  150. 150
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Another Scott: IIRC the tone of the biggest complaints about Obama and economic recovery — blogosphere excepted — was less that the stimulus was ineffectually small and more that it was bloated with “welfare” and “social engineering.” That’s what the Tea Party stuff was all about: the government helping losers, especially Those People, TOO MUCH. Racist demagoguery was baked into the cake from the start.

  151. 151
    tobie says:

    @Another Scott: If I misinterpreted your first comment, and the meaning of “nit,” I apologize.

    I’m not an economist but I believe Christina Romer was right when she argued for a larger stimulus either at the outset or in a second installment. What I’m chewing on is what are the causes for fascist movements (and the Tea Party in my view fits that bill). The consensus in historical debates is that fascism arose in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s because of the economic collapse after WWI and hyperinflation. This explanation is a bit hard to square with the rise of a new fascist party in Germany–the AfD–at a time of relative economic prosperity. The refugee crisis and a general sense of uncertainty about the future seem to be fueling it. Strengthening the social safety net addresses uncertainty but it only works if people are convinced that we are all one nation and in the same boat. It’s the social compact that has worn really thin.

  152. 152
    J R in WV says:

    @Plato:

    You need no help from Word Press or Balloon-Juice to look bad — you do that just fine all by yourself.

  153. 153
    Yarrow says:

    @geg6: That’s great news! Tell him to work hard at the speech therapy and do any homework they assign him. The more he can do early on the faster and better the brain will recover.

  154. 154
    HinTN says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: His colleagues in The House of Representatives cheerfully called him Mike Dense. That doesn’t mean he isn’t corrupt, dirty as hell, and compromised to boot.

  155. 155
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @geg6: My daughter had a good experience doing this. She got to take courses at a community college for $19 per course. She took Calculus III, German, Statistics, a philosophy course, and a few others I am forgetting. Absolutely no downside for us.

  156. 156
    geg6 says:

    @Yarrow:

    They gave him some apps to use on his phone with word games. He’s been playing away all morning! He is having trouble finding a word when speaking, but only sporadically. He knows what he wants to say but can’t get it out. The brain/vocalizing connection has some short circuits. But he has improved already since he first called me to take him to the hospital. That phone call was unnerving, especially because, if you know him, you know he’s always quick and glib. But he almost sounds like himself now.

  157. 157
    Fair Economist says:

    @tobie: I don’t think AfD is an exception to the rule. Fascist parties aren’t unusual; but it takes a major economic crisis to put them in power. If Germany keeps cruising along, AfD will never take power.

  158. 158
    Brachiator says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    These fools would never have pulled this shit with Obama.

    Ah, they said the same thing about Obama.

    There was a smattering of shit early on, but it got shut down real fast. Also, a part of this was whether Obama, with an African father, was sufficiently “authentic” when compared to someone who was descended from African Americans. And of course, Republicans made themselves look like total fools when they tried to resurrect some of this much later on.

    But questions about “authenticity” were not questions about whether Obama was really black. To the extent any of it represented anything real when coming from the black community, it reflected an anxiety that Obama might not “care” enough about black folk, and be more like some Republican black candidates. This anxiety largely disappeared when Obama got the black vote in Southern primaries.

    But the only white people questioning Obama’s blackness were the standard garden variety racists.

  159. 159
    ruemara says:

    @geg6: I am thankful of the good news! Sending healing vibes.

  160. 160
    Another Scott says:

    @tobie: Don’t worry about misinterpreting my comment – I’m sorry I wasn’t clear. :-)

    There’s no doubt that racism has been a problem in creating effective recovery policies. Whether it’s 49.87% of the reason or 72,15% or 39.49% is something that people can debate until the end of time. Almost from the beginning (e.g. Rick Santelli on CNBC railing against helping homeowners) there was a “don’t help the undeserving poor/brown people” element – and the Koch brothers building on it).

    I’m no expert but it seems to me that Merkel was so powerful for so long that the opposition was willing to grab anything to try to weaken her. The immigration thing was a convenient cudgel, that had the benefit for them of awaking all the nativism that every sensible country has to battle.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  161. 161
    J R in WV says:

    Senator Kamala Harris has one parent from Jamaica — the scene of some of the most horrific sugar-cane plantation slavery in the history of black African slavery in the whole world. So Senator Harris is indeed the descendant of an African slave family, in Jamaica. Does that make her any “blacker” than she was yesterday? Nope.

    I’m on the Harris bandwagon so far. She has the grit to go there and do that which needs to be done. And intends, so far as I can tell, to do the right things, as opposed to Wilmer, who can’t find his ass with both hands.

    I like Senator Warren, and have some family ancestry background named Warren, so may be related way back, but she’s too old (I’m almost as old as Sen Warren, and I’m too old also!) and missed her main chance 4 years ago. She’s great in the Senate, though!

  162. 162
    HinTN says:

    @trollhattan: I deeply respect the Oxford comma. It does a lot of heavy lifting for such a tiny thing.

  163. 163
    HinTN says:

    @J R in WV: She’s great on the campaign trail, which is great for Dems. I like Harris, too. OMMV

  164. 164
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @geg6: I missed all this when traveling, I guess, but sending my best wishes to John and you. Sounds like it’s on the right track.

  165. 165
    Chris says:

    @tobie:

    I think the “economic crises make fascism grown” thing is part of fascism’s appeal, but can be overemphasized.

    The French version of this, the FN, has been going in fits and starts, but growing pretty steadily, for forty years or so. It first arose in the seventies and eighties, admittedly not great economic ties. It kept growing all through the nineties, when the economy was probably as good as it’s ever been since the postwar boom ended. Its first big moment (coming in second in the election) was in 2002, when, again, things were about as good as they’ve been in the post-postwar economy. And then it’s continued to grow as the economy went south again. Economic crises certainly don’t hurt it, but good economic times didn’t seem to hurt it much either.

  166. 166
    Leto says:

    @geg6: like everyone else, I’m really happy to read this! I had a similar experience after my accident (couldn’t find the words, didn’t remember everything), but, like everything else, it simply took time to recover from. I also had a speech therapist helping with mental exercise games to help my brain recover. It sounds like he’s doing really well and I’m really happy it wasn’t worse. Continuing to send nothing but positive vibes your way :)

  167. 167
    Yarrow says:

    @geg6: That’s great that he’s recovering so quickly. The brain is so able to compensate but it really does help to have early intervention and keep at it.

  168. 168
    Chris says:

    @Another Scott:

    I’m no expert but it seems to me that Merkel was so powerful for so long that the opposition was willing to grab anything to try to weaken her. The immigration thing was a convenient cudgel, that had the benefit for them of awaking all the nativism that every sensible country has to battle.

    Near as I can tell, probably the biggest predictor of a fascist takeover is exactly this – whether mainstream politicians will find it in their interest to ally with fascists or to raise fascist themes, in their battles with other mainstream politicians. If they maintain a united front, fascism either doesn’t take root or it remains a small enough problem to be manageable. If they get it into their heads that it’s a brilliant idea to, quoth Sarkozy, “win back voters from the FN?” That’s when we’re in trouble.

    (This is also Robert Paxton’s take on fascism, that it depends on alliances with traditional conservatives if it wants to actually take over a country and be anything other than a street gang with uniforms).

  169. 169
    Dr. Omed says:

    “create a bond between our discipline and modern technologies”? A movie prop from a 32 year old BAD Space Opera pastiche is not a modern technology.

  170. 170
    tobie says:

    @Chris: AL has likened the right-wing in the US to the Poujadistes in France in the 1950s, and I find that parallel illuminating.

  171. 171
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kay:

    I saw some of his supporters on Facebook talking about how “gracious” he was at the Democratic National Convention, and I was like, You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  172. 172
    debbie says:

    @rikyrah:

    Master Thespian: “Acting!”

  173. 173
    HinTN says:

    @Chris: If you read Madeline Albright’s book carefully you will see that Nietzsche and Kierkegaard were right about us. Of course, so was Joni Mitchell.

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